We are asking anyone who wants to invest in us as a family to donate to our adoption fund. Our goal is to raise $10,000 (of the $21,000 total) as soon as possible so that we can be matched with a baby this fall. If every Facebook friend gives $5 we will meet our goal.


4 years ago we wrote this blog entry outlining our heart for adoption and our plan to start the process. We believe that God has a HEART FOR ADOPTION and we want our family to express His heart. With the help of our friends, family, and network of people we were gifted $7,000 that helped us adopt Mercy.

Here is the entry of Mercy’s adoption story and how God brought that day together. You can also read Kristin’s account of the finances and details here. If you haven’t seen a picture of Mercy yet, you clearly don’t follow me on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram.

I always believed we would adopt again but we wanted to be patient and take it one child at a time and make sure we had clarity as our family changed. In the last two years we have moved, changed jobs, and planted a church. As life has settled down and Mercy has gotten older we have started to have the conversations and pray about this and seek the counsel of close friends and mentors. We know that God wants to add to our family one more time through adoption.


We will again be working with the same organization – Adoption Link. We have already sent in our money and initiated the first phase of background checks and being re-approved. This will take a few months while our books are simultaneously shown to birth moms.


Please pray for us. We knew this before the last time and we know it even more now, adoption is a road with many twists and turns and we want to trust God as he writes this story.

The second major way our friends and family can be involved is in the fundraising process. Even after the thousands of dollars we have already invested this year, the remaining costs are estimated around $19,000.

We thought it would be neat to again leverage our personal network in the most common way it exists: Social Media. Our idea is to ask all of our Facebook/Twitter/Instagram friends to personally donate $5 to our adoption fund. We are also continuing to save our own money and put into this account every month. You may be reading this and not have Facebook, or you may want to give more than $5 and that’s ok too. We just think it will be great to see God use our friends and family who want to invest in a very practical, tangible way.

We are collecting the money through a gofundme page that we have set up. You can access the site here and even donate with a credit card.


Thanks for taking the time to read this and hear our dream. Thank you to those who walked with us as our family grew through adoption last time. If you have any other questions, or want to contact us personally, we would love to talk more and share our hearts.


Mark, Kristin, Malachi, Canaan, and Mercy Artrip



It’s no secret that people in ministry don’t usually make as much money as some other professions.  You don’t have to be around a group of youth pastors long until you hear some “I’m so poor” or “woe is me” stories and jokes.  The truth is all Americans are blessed and I am too so none of us can complain. On the other hand, money is mentioned more than any other topic in the Bible and certainly trips people up all the time.

Most of my beliefs on money can be summed up in this video, so please watch it.


I have never really written on this topic so I thought I would share a quick list of things our family does to stay on budget. Some people learn this stuff as adults from Dave Ramsey, but I am from the school of Ron and Jeanne. I am not judging you or telling you everyone has to do these things….just sharing.

  1. We only pay cash for stuff. The only thing I will ever take out a loan for is a house. We will not even go in debt for a car or education.  Good thing I didn’t need to go to medical school that would mess with my rule.
  2. We don’t have cable.  People think I am ridiculous for this one but I don’t see the point, and need the buffer.
  3. We only buy clothes that are on sale or clearance racks. Ok, once a year I buy something that costs $25 but only when I splurge.
  4. We shop at Aldi.  That is a 4 letter word to some….ok maybe to all since it actually has 4 letters.

What do you do to save money?


This past week I attended INNOVATE 09 with my husband.  He tries to attend a conference or two every year to stay current and refreshed.  I would think for most ministry couples conferences are attended by the husband and the wives stay at home.

Many times this is because of finances and it is not bad but it causes a divide.  Nothing that will ruin a marriage, but it isn’t what may be best for your ministry long term.

When Mark comes home I want to know everything that went on from start to finish. I need to hear what the topics were, who were the key speakers, what was good or not so good and so on and so forth! We spend hours rehashing these conferences so that I can try and capture the same vision and excitement that Mark has. The divide is in un-shared experiences.

As the first session of this conference began and the worship was kicking off we both felt like we were breathing fresh air because it is refreshing to be poured into instead of being the one running the show.  In that instant I was glad that we would have the same experiences and could learn together and debrief over lunch, at night, and on the car ride home.  During the first session I leaned over to Mark and said, “ Every Pastor’s wife and woman in a ministry position should attend some conference with or without their husband every year.”  This thought began to spiral into many thoughts on women in ministry in my mind and so here I am writing another guest post.

I loved being at INNOVATE because I realized how much I need to be reminded about teamwork, vision casting, leading, and being creativity in ministry! Attending a conference together, we were able to debrief about our church vision, our creativity in youth ministry, how we can do it better, and what we are doing to build our team.  It gave us both a renewed excitement that we are doing what God has called us to do and doing it to the best of our ability.

You don’t have to be a pastor to vision cast, build a team, be creative, or be in charge of a ministry. If you are a pastor’s wife then you are part of the team! If you are the children’s director, creative director, etc. then you are part of team too! You can contribute to the vision and the creativity of ministry as much as someone who is paid on staff.  If you are serving in a position like Children’s ministry then there are so many ideas and ways to be challenged so you can better your ministry.

I think that wives should go with their husbands to these conferences as well as your paid women on staff (with their husbands).  We as pastor’s wives, creative directors, or as children’s ministry directors need to know the vision and be inspired to be creative and understand the changing culture in our churches.  IT’S NOT JUST FOR THE PASTOR…it’s for the whole team around him.


May 15, 2004 was the day I married the love of my life.  That’ s right kiddies today is my 4 year anniversary.  I wanted to jump up on my soapbox and tell you the top 5 reasons I love my wife today…even more than when I married her.

  1. She is my best friend.  She is the one I share life with.  She listens, she jokes, she takes away the stress.  There is no one else I want to talk to everyday.  Our conversations make me want to get up and do it again.  She prays with me and for me and keeps me seeking Christ when I am seeking me.
  2. She is hot.  I mean the other day we were in Target and someone asked us whose baby we were watching. I replied “my wife just had that baby two months ago and already looks this hot.”
  3. My wife is a great mom. I can’t get enough of watching her sacrifice and seeing Malachi just love her. He knows he has a good mom and so do I.
  4. She is the best ministry helper.  From administration, to vision, to investing in girls I told her in high school that I was headed this direction and if she didn’t want that she should jump ship.  She has never doubted and continues to run beside me which is what caught my eye in the first place.
  5. My wife manages our home to perfection.  From cleaning, entertaining, administration, and finances she is a proverbs 31 diva.  I am so happy with our circumstances and the situation she has gotten us in.  Many are stressed or discontent in this area but her ability to be content is what keeps us content.

I love you honey!

Nothing at All!

Monday Night-We went shopping at Our exit the Sawmill exit focusing on Babies R Us.Tuesday Night-We went to Easton and hit up Pottery Barn Kids, the Apple store, and the rest.Wednesday Night-We got off work early and did some shopping at Polaris Mall before our doctors appt.  That night we didn’t have HSM because of thanksgiving so some of last years peeps (current college freshmen) stopped by to check in.Thursday-We drove to Fredericksburg, Ohio to see the Sands family extended, than drove back stopping at Brandon and Linksey’s shindig on the way home.Friday-woke up late because I don’t care or need the early bird specials. I just need to squeak in and get the deals that end at noon and one.  Than we just relaxed and Kate and Adam Walter came over tonight.Saturday-Jeff and Shannon Beckely are coming over.Although you can see hints on boredom or baby influence in my week, we have tried to do nothing this week and just take it easy and enjoy each other.  I am told by everyone and am sure it will be true that once we hit the new year and close on the house and the baby comes life will never be the same…so for now the Artrip’s are just sitting around, taking it easy, and loving it! 


So last night as we are going to bed I am talking to my son (my wife’s belly) as I like to do.  I am telling my son I will see him soon, he has a great mom, and cheesy dad stuff like that.  I hope this is not a picture of our relationship  we will have but all of the sudden he kicked me in the mouth.  Either he hates me, I got to close, or it was a total accident.


Tonight is date night. Men older than me keep telling me to never stop dating my wife so I do my best.  It’s easy to get excited about hanging out with your best friend.  Here is a picture we took a few weeks ago on date night at Easton.